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Wind River; Welcome to the Party

June 18, 2009

Wind River (Finally) Releases Virtualization Platform; Welcome to the Party

This week Wind River announced availability of its long-anticipated hypervisor for embedded systems.  Originally announced in June of 2008, Alameda finally appears to have a product ready to ship to OEMs.
Structurally, the introduction makes sense.  The company needs some way of reconciling the attributes of their many and divergent embedded platforms. A hypervisor provides a potential home for any or all of them – in one neat package.  At the very least the Wind hypervisor provides a place to sell and install VxWorks, as a way to salvage RTOS revenues.
The announcement and the materials supporting it primarily tout multicore applications. However, Alameda is keenly interested in all things mobile: they are members of LiMo and OHA and participate in Moblin.  Moreover, the mobile focus of Atom silicon from their new parent company, Intel, signals that mobile virtualization is likely in their sights as well.

Caveat Emptor – Mobile OEMs Beware

Technology stands on its own merits, but to make business sense, successful technology needs the right supplier behind it.  It’s too early and the Wind virtualization product is likely too immature to make definitive claims about its functionality or reliability.  However, it’s worth considering how the source for this technology impacts its position in the mobile marketplace.
Double Lock-In
The Wind River embedded hypervisor locks OEMs into a single proprietary solution in both the short- and long-term. 
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